A former cyclist come clean: (NY Times link) Two of Lance Armstrong's former teammates come clean.
posted by sic to other at 09:30 AM - 29 comments
Quote from the "Lance Armstrong" link: "one of the possible side effects of prolonged steroid use is testicular cancer. It's impossible to prove, but if what the Andreus testified to under oath is true, than Lance Armstrong, role model and hero to so many cancer survivors, may very well have helped bring about his own cancer through his use of performance-enhancing drugs. Young athletes tempted to go down that road need to know if that's the case." St. Lance's sainthood status seems to be in more and more jeopardy all the time. Time for this guy to supercede Ben Johnson as the most notorious PED fraud of all time.
posted by hb74147 at 10:50 AM on September 13
Although I've long suspected that all of the top racers are doping, it's his holier than thou attitude and vindictiveness toward other riders that makes me dislike Lance in particular.
posted by sic at 10:58 AM on September 13
This article contains no new information suggesting Armstrong ever doped. In fact, Andreu testified in court that he never saw Lance dope, was never asked by Lance to dope, and was not aware of any organized doping program on the US Postal team. But the "fair and balanced" NY Times uses Andreu's "confession" of EPO use (7 years after the fact) to insinuate that Armstrong doped so it can sell a few more papers. Until there is some solid evidence, this is just a load of crap and yellow journalism at its worst.
posted by BikeNut at 11:08 AM on September 13
Thanks for the link, sic.
posted by garfield at 11:26 AM on September 13
I think it's crystal clear that anyone who accuses Lance of having doped either hates him or is French...
posted by JohnSFO at 11:28 AM on September 13
He also testified that he and his wife heard Lance himself tell his oncologists that he'd used "steroids, testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and EPO." I guess he's French.
posted by sic at 11:36 AM on September 13
Sic, actually, his wife gave that testimony. Then Andreu refuted his wife's testimony under cross examination and said he never heard Lance say this. This is nothing more than a disgruntled former employee and his wife trying to tear down their former employer.
posted by BikeNut at 11:47 AM on September 13
This is nothing more than a disgruntled former employee and his wife trying to tear down their former employer. Why? What do they stand to gain from tearing Lance down?
posted by JohnSFO at 12:46 PM on September 13
That would make a difference BikeNut, would you mind linking to that part? I missed it when I read the articles. I also missed the part that he was a "disgruntled" former employee. Did they have some kind of disagreement and Lance fired him? Was he ever even working directly for Lance? (I though they were teammates.) Is this just your personal opinion or are you citing some source?
posted by sic at 12:49 PM on September 13
Meh, his thighs aren't big enough.
posted by tron7 at 01:08 PM on September 13
Not even Venus Williams-caliber.
posted by yerfatma at 01:21 PM on September 13
The Andreus said they were reluctant to testify, but they were required to do so under a court order. Under oath, they said they both overheard Armstrong, who had been found to have cancer, tell his oncologists that he had used performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong testified that no one at the hospital had asked him if he had used performance-enhancing drugs, and he denied using such drugs. He also challenged the motives of the Andreus. Nearly a dozen people in cycling declined to be interviewed about the Andreus, saying they feared for their jobs because of Armstrong’s influence in the sport. from the NY times link, I don't see the part where he contradicts his wife under cross-examination. Another NY Times link: Armstrong Not Among Those Praising Cyclist Who Admitted to Using EPO
posted by sic at 01:31 PM on September 13
“I think our kids will appreciate the fact that their father just could not lie,” Betsy Andreu said. “It will teach them to be honest, no matter what the consequences are.” Your husband's already a liar, ma'am. He's just attempting to clear his conscience.
posted by wfrazerjr at 02:24 PM on September 13
How exactly were the Andreus' privvy to the conversations between Armstrong and his oncologists? Also, I know I have said this before, but I had the same type of cancer and i didn't take any PEDs. The worst drug I ever had partaken in was marijuana. So, maybe Lance is a doper...just a different kind.
posted by willthrill72 at 05:04 PM on September 13
The suit was eventually settled out of court in Armstrong's favor, but in their sworn testimony the Andreus said that when they visited Armstrong in the hospital after he'd been diagnosed with testicular cancer, they'd heard him tell his oncologists that he'd used "steroids, testosterone, cortisone, growth hormone and EPO." Their testimony was disputed by the doctor who administered Armstrong's chemotherapy at Indiana University Medical Center. In the same trial, Armstrong testified that his doctors never asked him if he'd used performance-enhancing drugs, and that he'd never used those substances. From the Lance Armstrong link. The links are posted for a reason you know.
posted by sic at 05:09 PM on September 13
He said, they said, I'm takin' the doc's word...
posted by mjkredliner at 05:20 PM on September 13
Sic, my guess is that willthrill72 saw that part of the story in the link, but questioned its veracity. Under what circumstances would Armstrong be having that kind of conversation with his oncologist while there were visitors in his room? That just seems bizarre.
posted by BullpenPro at 05:24 PM on September 13
Thanks, BPP. That was my point. But I do appreciate the condescension, sic.
posted by willthrill72 at 11:46 PM on September 13
Well that's one way to look at it. You could also say that he felt more comfortable talking about doping to his doctor while he was a with his friend and teammate (and fellow doper) then he would say, in front of his Mom. To me this isn't just about Lance Armstrong, this is about cycling in general. I think it's becoming more and more obvious that doping pervades professional cycling, especially among the top riders on the top teams. If a strong drug culture does exist in the sport (I think it does) with its accompanying code of silence, it stands to reason that the insiders, the cyclists themselves and their trainers, would take that kind of stuff for granted, especially when in the company of other insiders since it would be so ingrained into their daily life. In that case, it wouldn't be so strange for him to be talking about that stuff in front of Andreus, in what must have been an emotional moment. In any case, it wouldn't have been shocking.
posted by sic at 04:24 AM on September 14
Well that's one way to look at it. You could also say that he felt more comfortable talking about doping to his doctor while he was a with his friend and teammate (and fellow doper) then he would say, in front of his Mom. One way to look at it? How about the only way to look at it, unless you're talking about soap-opera doctors and not the real thing? Look, doctors just don't participate in that kind of conversation with a patient when others are present, unless they're damn sure that those others have a compelling reason to be party to that information. To me this isn't just about Lance Armstrong, this is about cycling in general. What "this" are you talking about? Be precise.
posted by lil_brown_bat at 07:22 AM on September 14
What "this" are you talking about? Be precise. Doping isn't just about Lance Armstrong. It's about cycling and sports in general. However, the fact that he's a 7 time Tour winner makes him highly symbolic. If someday he is exposed as a doper that would be a transcendent revelation, like when we found out that Landis was doped during his epic stage win in the tour but times infinity. As Greg LeMond said, "it would be the biggest fraud in the history of sports". Maybe that kind of bombshell is the only way that the sport (one that I care about) will ever come clean. Look, doctors just don't participate in that kind of conversation with a patient when others are present, unless they're damn sure that those others have a compelling reason to be party to that information. I disagree that this is completely implausible, unusual, perhaps. Family members and close friends may be privy to this kind of converstation if the patient wanted it that way, or didn't mind. Anyway, I don't think that there's any way you or I could change each other's perception of this. You've made up your mind that it was perjury, I'm not so sure; why would the guy and his wife perjure themselves? Were they paid off by the French?
posted by sic at 08:52 AM on September 14
Doping isn't just about Lance Armstrong. It's about cycling and sports in general. Okay, so you're talking about PEDs in cycling? PEDs in all sports? What? However, the fact that he's a 7 time Tour winner makes him highly symbolic. Highly symbolic of what? The situation WRT PEDs is different for each and every sport; "highly symbolic" and "huge trend" arguments only work if you can pull 'em off. I disagree that this is completely implausible, unusual, perhaps. Family members and close friends may be privy to this kind of converstation if the patient wanted it that way, or didn't mind. I'll repeat myself once more: the chances of a doctor initiating or participating in this conversation with a third party standing there, without checking out that this person has a need to know the information being discussed -- not "didn't mind", need to know -- are somewhere between extremely slim and none. Anyway, I don't think that there's any way you or I could change each other's perception of this. I'd like to think that I could change your notion of just how plausible or implausible such an occurrence is.
posted by lil_brown_bat at 10:27 AM on September 14
I blame Paris Hilton which, essentially, is like blaming the French since her name is Paris and all...
posted by JohnSFO at 10:52 AM on September 14
I'd like to think that I could change your notion of just how plausible or implausible such an occurrence is. Well then you'd have to do better than "because I say so" ;) As far as your other questions: what I'm talking about is cleaning up cycling, one of the dirtiest sports, which by extension could lead to cleaning up other sports. I accept that the particulars of doping are different in most sports, but the core aspects (cheating and lying about it) are the same. This is something of a pipe dream at this point, but I would like to see it happen. Lance as a symbol: Lance Armstrong is the most famous cyclist alive, he's set the record for consecutive Tour wins and he is still one of the most powerful men in the sport (see the repeated references in the different articles to people who were to afraid to comment on this situation for fear of a reprisal by Armstrong); not only is he one of the most famous cyclists alive, but he's also one of the most famous sports personalities, hell, one of the most famous people, period. He's achieved this not only by winning all those tours, but also by commodifying himself, selling a clean cut image of a comeback kid who fought his way back from cancer to become a world champion. All of this makes him more than just another cyclist, it makes him a "symbol" for the sport, and in a lot of ways, for everything that is "good" in Sport itself. Thats' why if it is discovered that he's been lying all this time, that he was doping, it would far more impact than Landis being caught or Heras or (presumably- the case is pending) the other great riders of the last few years (Ullrich, Basso, etal) or this guy Andreu admitting that he doped. It might even break this "code of silence" among professional cyclists and maybe even lead to changes in how that and other sports are policed.
posted by sic at 12:47 PM on September 14
I disagree that this is completely implausible, unusual, perhaps. Family members and close friends may be privy to this kind of converstation if the patient wanted it that way, or didn't mind. I was in my early twenties when I was diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer...an adult. My doctors, the very doctors who treated Armstrong mind you, would not speak about trreatment, medical history, etc. if anyone other than my parents were in the room. And even at that they asked if it was okay. My best friend, who was and is still like a brother to me, wasn't even allowed to be in the room when my doctors were checking on me, let alone getting my medical history. This oncology team is the best in the business when it comes to testicular cancer and I seriously doubt if they would speak freely in front of third parties for the most remote possibility of it appearing unethical or improper. I know I sound like an Armstrong apologist, and maybe I am. However, that doesn't detract from the notion that the Abreus' story just doesn't jive. I'll wait until there is undisputable evidence that declares Armstrong guilty before I pass judgement.
posted by willthrill72 at 03:29 PM on September 14
Fair enough Will. I guess I'm letting a mountain of circumstantial evidence get in the way of being absolutely fair. The man has not been convicted (yet). And maybe he'll never be (and maybe he's just plain innocent), stranger things have happend.
posted by sic at 05:50 PM on September 14
Well then you'd have to do better than "because I say so" ;) I did -- see Will's post. Who's been saying, "because I say so"? As far as your other questions: what I'm talking about is cleaning up cycling, one of the dirtiest sports, which by extension could lead to cleaning up other sports. I accept that the particulars of doping are different in most sports, but the core aspects (cheating and lying about it) are the same. This is something of a pipe dream at this point, but I would like to see it happen. Then you'd better accept the fact that your choice of "core aspects" is arbitrary, and that some of the "particulars" loom damn large. Or do you really think that the situation surrounding Marion Jones is like that surrounding Barry Bonds? "Cleaning up" a professional sport where the players are employees represented by collective bargaining and protected by a body of employment law is very different from "cleaning up" a sport where the athletes are not employees. Dick Pound also wants to see all sports become clean, or so he claims. That doesn't change the fact that he's choosing some pretty bass-ackwards, ineffective, downright counterproductive ways to do it. A noble end does not automatically render your means either ethical or effective.
posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:27 PM on September 14
What is the point of your argument, exactly? That Lance Armstrong being proven to be a doper wouldn't rock the sports world? That it wouldn't affect how we look at doping in sports in general and it wouldn't change the way governing bodies of sports police illegal doping? Or that laws wouldn't change to make sure that nobody perpetrates that kind of mammoth fraud in the future? The fact that the "details" involved in cleaning up different sports are dissimilar does not change the fact that using illegal drugs (employee or not, nice red herring) is illegal, negatively perceived by most of the public and cheating. Cheating and lying about it are "unsportsmanlike" and lie at the heart of all doping controveries. Then you'd better accept the fact that your choice of "core aspects" is arbitrary, and that some of the "particulars" loom damn large. Your phrasing actually made me laugh out loud. I'd better? Or what? You'll shake your fist angrily at the monitor? I'll try to be more careful!
posted by sic at 03:09 PM on September 15
sic, noble efforts on your part, but at some point you're banging your head against a wall. For some reason some who don't want to see their favourite cheater criticized seem to think that opinions need to be supported by hard evidence like you're laying charges in a criminal trial. As far as I'm concerned you're allowed to form an opinion when mounting circumstantial evidence points to a ever more obvious conclusion.
posted by hb74147 at 03:38 PM on September 15
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